Mammography obtained by using low-dose X-ray images is the most basic method used for imaging the breast. Mammography is the earliest method to detect breast cancer among all imaging and diagnostic methods. It can be described as an x-ray device that can take some kind of image of the breast.
The aim of mammography is to detect breast cancer at an early stage because the earlier breast cancer is detected, the more successful the treatment can be. In addition to the standard mammography method known today, services are provided with different mammography technologies, primarily digital. Digital mammography is commonly used.
How is it applied?
To obtain images on mammography, the breast needs to be slightly compressed between the image detector and the compression plate. In routine mammography, two different exposure images are taken from the front and side of each breast. If there is a suspicious finding, additional films may be required to better view this area and make a diagnosis.
The purpose of compression
- To prevent movement of the breast and to obtain a quality image
- Reducing the thickness of the breast to ensure less X-ray delivery
- To prevent possible diagnostic errors by opening the overlapping tissues in the breast
What should be considered before mammography?
In this case, the patient often feels only some pressure, not pain. If pain is generally felt in the breasts, adjusting the examination to the second week of the menstrual period, that is, the week after the bleeding is stopped, minimizes the discomfort.
Cosmetics such as powder, deodorant or shimmer cream should not be applied to the chest area and armpit while coming to mammography. These items may cause suspicious images and cause an error in diagnosis.
What is Digital Mammography?
In digital mammography breast imaging, just like in digital cameras, the image is acquired in digital environment thanks to a detector. This image is examined by mammographers specially designed for mammography, can be viewed on screens that can process images, and can also be printed on film if desired.
Who are recommended digital mammography?
- Women under the age of 50 who have not yet entered menopause or have just entered,
- Women whose breast structure is dense (ie rich in milk-producing tissue) because it facilitates the evaluation of the breast and is more successful than standard mammography in detecting breast cancer,
- It is recommended for women who have undergone breast surgery or breast prosthesis, and therefore have breasts that are difficult to evaluate.
Tomosynthesis, which can be defined as the 3D form of mammography, is a digital mammography device. The device itself and the way of shooting are very similar to mammography.
How is it applied?
The X-ray tube in the device moves to the right and left during the shooting of tomosynthesis. By giving low radiation dose 1 mm of the nozzle at different angles. obtains serial images with thick sections. The total radiation dose taken in this procedure is equal to the dose given on normal mammography.